Dark water on east side safe to drink | NevadaAppeal.com
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Dark water on east side safe to drink

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Residents in Parc DeMaison were surprised to open water spigots and find dark, ominous-looking water coming out Wednesday and Thursday.

“It looks like dark tea,” said resident Ruby Humphrey. “It’s horrible.”

About 50 homes in east Carson City, mostly in Parc DeMaison but also a handful of locations on Brown Street, were receiving the dark water. The number of homes affected had been decreasing with time.

“It dissipates,” said Curtis Horton, the city’s water operations chief. “It’s not harmful but it’s not pretty.”

The change in mineral content came as a result of the city’s utility line relocation work that is being done to make way for the next section of the Carson City freeway. Workers closed off a pipe near the intersection of Fifth Street and Butti Way to divert water flow and allow for work to continue.

When the water started moving through different pipes, however, out came built-up iron and manganese, Horton said.

Though the dark flow wasn’t expected, the city’s utility department says the water is safe to use. The color is a simply a result of higher mineral content. The only thing people shouldn’t do while their water is dark is laundry, especially light-colored loads.

“It’ll stain,” Horton warned.

Many of the locations affected are in the same area where workers flushed out water pipes this spring to remove minerals that settled to the bottom of water mains during cooler times of the year.

“This was an unpleasant surprise,” Humphrey said. “They let us know this could happen in the spring.”

The city expected to have the problem resolved by this morning, Horton added.

People with concerns about their water quality should contact the city at 887-2355.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.